Yoga has been a great way of ironing out my body’s creaks from becoming more sedentary. I hadn’t realised that I could regain a better body shape by doing yoga more regularly. I had put on a few kilos, looking after family and becoming more deskbound with my publishing career, but I started attending classes at Lunge yoga that a friend recommended. My initial participation was attending one class a week, but after some time, I had a goal to get fitter and help improve my health. I especially wanted to help work on niggling back pain.
I queried Louisa about the various food ingredients that were on display at the studio, and began researching recipes and information about nutrition, starting with some weblinks that Louisa provided. I stepped up from attending class once a week to twice per week, and then finally three times a week in conjunction with some modifications to my diet. These changes included cutting back on fruit, reducing flour and meat products, and introducing more vegetables and grains. I learnt how to cook differently and eat more unprocessed foods, and, for a sweet tooth, I surprised myself by not having the same cravings. I noticed my flexibility improve, puffiness from my body went and within two months I could certainly see a difference in my body shape.
The best thing about this new experience is that I could move better. I could straighten my legs in poses, easily do back bends, manage poses that I thought were beyond me and I became a morning person (that was shock to the system!).
After four months I lost eight kilos. I have never had the body shape and strength that I have now. Even by the yoga classes reteaching me how to breathe has helped me understand the effects this can have on simply feeling energised or calm or taking on challenges.
Having made the commitment to go to more than one yoga class per week, I can feel different benefits in the colder and warmer seasons. Normally, winter would put me off exercise, but I know I’m going to feel better and my spine will feel stronger. I can manage long periods of doing computer work, knowing I can counterbalance it with a good stretch in yoga.
Instead of shying away from back exercise, I know the back bends, forward bends and side stretches protect my back. I take heart in the fact that these movements are meant to stimulate digestion as well. I have maintained a new body shape for over a year now, and each season, I can see a movement that I found was tricky gets that bit easier, having practised the pose in class so regularly.
I never had a specific goal to lose a certain amount of weight. I just wanted to be fitter. I can see with more care towards diet and the commitment to the yoga classes has helped me remain consistent with my weight and improve my physical capabilities. It helps me be mentally determined as well. I can physically do actions that I thought were impossible and I don’t get scared to try them. I remain optimistic about what my body is capable of, as I continue with my yoga practice. Thanks to Louisa’s encouragement, I have reached this point.